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Category Archives: Education
It’s been a cloudy week in Sacramento – the first wisp of fall – a reminder that rain could arrive at any time. And even though the National Weather Service is predicting a warm, sunny week ahead, now is a good time to start putting together all the essentials needed for commuting in the rain.
There are a couple of good websites out there that can help. The EcoVelo website has a great post called, “Bike Commuting 101: Rain Riding.” Also, the League of American Bicyclists has a helpful page called, “Tips for Commuters.”
More bike lanes are being painted on streets in downtown Sacramento. Most of the work is in the western and southern parts of downtown. A story in the Sacramento Bee quotes transportation officials as refering to the shrinking of one-way three lane streets to two lanes as a “road diet.” See the story here.
What a difference a year makes. Last year, a storm moved into Sacramento in early October and dropped almost an inch of rain on the city in a day. A year later, it’s so hot that we shattered the September record for the most days of 90-degree or over temperatures. Yesterday it was 100 degrees and today’s temperature is expected to reach 99 degrees. With all the heat and no rain in sight, people are starting to mention the “D” word. In fact, in a story in today’s Sacramento Bee, Matt Weiser discusses the chance that California is headed into another drought.
It appears Gov. Brown will veto SB 1464, the 3-foot passing bill according to a post by the California Bicycle Coalition.
“Brown has offered no indication of how he views bicycling or expressed any ideas for ensuring the safety of Californians who rely on bicycling as everyday transportation. By vetoing SB 1464, he makes clear that he prioritizes legalistic speculation over the safety of Californians,” a post on the calbike.org website stated.
Bicyclists navigate past people sitting on the bike trail under the Highway 160 bridge at Northgate Blvd. Wednesday evening. Sacramento County authorities began rousting homeless campers in the area Wednesday evening in part because of complaints by businesses and residents in the area.
Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton filed a number of columns this month concerning the homeless camping along the Amercian River bike trail in area of Del Paso and Northgate boulevards. Yesterday, Breton’s column announced, “Beginning today, Sacramento County authorities will begin taking several significant steps aimed at saving the American River Parkway from environmental harm caused by illegal camping,”
Sure enough, last night county park rangers were out along the trail rousting homeless campers and writing citations.
The area has become a difficult one for cyclists to use while commuting home from work because of the gatherings of people under the Highway 160 bridge at Northgate Blvd. An article in the Bee this morning highlighted some of the plans the county has to, “…wrest back the lower parkway, cleaning it up and making it attractive again for hikers, bikers and other recreational users.”
A bicyclist heads east along the American River bike trail Monday evening between mile markers three and four. SacDOT and the Regional Parks Department are working on trail improvements in this area all week. The work includes repairing cracks, overlay of new asphalt, repairs to the trail shoulder and restriping. Signs along the trail warn users to expect delays or a detour between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The American River bike trail is getting some much needed cleaning and repairs this year. Last weekend, the trail received a brisk cleaning as part of the annual clean up by the American River Parkway Foundation, according to an article by Tony Bizjak in today’s Sacramento Bee. Volunteers gathered up about seven tons of trash, Bizjak reported.
But, that’s not all, “The state parks department has won a $423,000 federal grant to to repave 3.5 miles of trail between Beals Point and Lake Natoma,” Bizjak reported. The much-needed trail repairs for this section will begin next spring.
Those repairs, combined with the ongoing trail repairs currently taking place in seven locations along the trail as part of “Measure A” will cause some delays and detours for cyclists, but should be well worth the inconvenience.
To see a map of the American River Parkway Projects for 2012, click here.
An interesting opinion piece appeared in the Sunday Sacramento Bee by freelance writer Mark Drolette about the practice of biking with your dog. Drolette, who lives in Sacramento, is not fond of what he calls the, “trend in Sacramento of ‘walking’ one’s dog while riding a bike.” You can read his article here.
Also in the news, the Sacramento Press reported today that the city is looking at ways to link bike traffic between Curtis Park and Land Park. Reporter Jared Goyette quotes a city staff report that says, “The Sacramento City College Bicycle/Pedestrian Improvements Project will create a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly route on 12th Avenue between 23rd Street and Panther Parkway.” You can read his article here.
Fishermen work their boat up the Sacramento River as the sun reflects off the CalSTRs building in West Sacramento on a recent morning along the Sacramento River Bike Trail. Salmon fishing along the Sacramento River is getting better every day according to the Western Outdoor News website.
In the news, early last week the state Assembly approved the 3-foot passing bill, according to a report by the California Bicycle Coalition and a story in the Sacramento Bee. Keep an eye out this week as the bill is expected to arrive on Gov. Brown’s desk.
While the 3-foot passing bill is good news, some bad news comes from an article in the Sacramento Press that says the state parks department is considering closing off one of two bicycle access points to Old Sacramento from the Sacramento River Bike Trail. Practical Cycle bike shop owner, Tim Castleman, whose shop is in Old Sac, has started a petition to prevent the closure, the article reports.
And, if you’re looking for an iPhone app to help in case of a bicycle collision, a New York City lawyer has come up with a free app called the Bike Crash Kit, according to a report in the Urban Velo magazine website.
Tonight is the release of the bicycling movie, “Premium Rush“. The movie is an action thriller about a Manhattan bike messenger chased around the city by a corrupt cop. Check out the movie trailer above. It opens at 12:01 a.m. at Century 16 Greenback Lane in Sacramento, and Century Folsom 14.
If you’re looking for something more serious about bicycling, check out the excellent article in the Thursday Sacramento Bee by Blair Anthony Robertson headlined, “As a bike-friendly city, we’re halfway there.”
The Sacramento Bee ran a picture and short ode to the tree on the front page today. Over the past week, Bee photographer Jose Luis Villegas has been chronicling the visitors to the tree. He produced an moving video report that you can watch here.
A story in the The Bee today focuses on fixed gear bikes, or “fixies.” The story is pegged to the upcoming release of “Premium Rush,” the action thriller about a bike messenger being chased by a crooked cop. The movie comes out in two weeks.
The story in The Bee takes a look at the fixie culture in Sacramento and where it stands today. The popularity of fixies appears to be winding down, and some hope the movie will revive the trend, while others think the movie might be the final gasp.
You can read the whole story here.
A teenager swings out over the American River on a rope swing tethered to a tree near the Campus Commons Golf Course in Sacramento on Monday evening as local Sacramento residents searched for ways to stay cool in the recent heat wave.
The heat is here. The temperature in the Sacramento Valley will be near or above 100 degrees all week. We may see a minor dip in temperatures on Wednesday but Thursday and Friday will most likely be above 100, according to the National Weather Service forecast.
Here’s a really good article in the New York Times about cyclists wearing helmet cams to record their rides. With the headline, “Cameras Are Cyclists’ ‘Black Boxes’ in Accidents,” the story talks mostly about how cyclists are using helmet cams to record confrontations and accidents.
“Cyclists have long had a rocky coexistence with motorists and pedestrians, who often criticize bike riders for a confrontational attitude, and for blowing through stop signs or otherwise exempting themselves from the rules of the road. Now small cameras — the cycling equivalent of the black box on an airplane — are becoming an intermediary in the relationship, providing high-tech evidence in what is sometimes an ugly contest between people who ride the roads on two wheels and those who use four,” writes Times reporter, Nick Wingfield.
I wear a helmet cam on my daily commute and on weekend rides. I’ve captured lots of fun still pictures and video as well as some bad behavior by both motorists and other cyclists. I usually avoid publishing all but the most egregious behavior I capture on video. However, I viewed this article as an opportunity to present a video collection of cars pulling out in front of me at intersections during my daily commute in Sacramento. These were all taken this year.
Salmon fishing season opened Monday on California’s Central Valley rivers. By Tuesday morning, boats were lined up in the Sacramento River just south of the confluence with the American River.
According to an article on sacbee.com by reporter Matt Weiser, this is the first normal season since the crash in the Salmon population began in 2007. “State and federal officials estimate more than 800,000 adult chinook salmon will make the spawning run into the Sacramento River and its tributaries this year, a huge improvement from the historic low of about 40,000 salmon in 2009,” Weiser wrote.
And, to read more about opening day, check out this story on sacbee.com by reporter Jing Cao.
Check out this inspirational video of some amazing cyclists. As their website states, “‘Unstoppables’ relates the story of everyday people who have reached unimaginable heights through sport, overcoming the obstacles that life has put in their way. People united in their belief that sharing experiences has individual and collective benefits.”
The video clip was produced by Black Train Films, a company that plans to complete a full-length documentary film about the “Unstoppables”
A bicyclist heads north on 21st Street in Sacramento Thursday evening during the evening commute.
Bicycling advocates are labeling the federal transportation bill a disaster for cycling. The bill was finally filed on Wednesday.
“The bad news: it’s a terrible bill for biking and walking. The new law will likely represent more than 60% cuts in funding for biking and walking. It turns back 20 years of progress in federal policy to make our streets safer, healthier, and more accessible,” says the America Bikes blog. But it could have been worse, the blog goes on to say. Read the full blog post here.
For an excellent analysis of the bill, check out this post by Jonathan Maus on BikePortland.org. And, for a review of the legislation check out this article on DC.STREETSBLOG.ORG.
Morning Commute – A cyclist makes the turn off the bike trail into Old Sacramento at the end of I Street near the Sacramento History Museum on Tuesday morning as the sun rises over the city.
In the ongoing saga that is the federal transportation bill, Carolyn Lochhead, Washington correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle recently wrote this analysis on the SFGate Politics Blog: Pedestrian and bicycle groups fear they will be thrown under bus.
And, while you’re at the Chronicle’s website, check out the column by C.W. Nevius that looks at Strava and its KOM (King of the Mountain) awards and how it allegedly causes reckless behavior.
“Set the fastest time, and you are awarded a KOM Crown. But face it; no one is setting a best time in the city without running stop signs and red lights. There may be only a few reckless KOM types on Strava, but they are exactly the kind of dangerous riders we’re trying to slow down,” Nevius writes.
And, lastly, another article that’s definitely worth reading is by Slate’s music critic, Jody Rosen, who recently had his bike stolen (in New York), but, was able to recover it using Twitter. Of note, Rosen cites some interesting bicycle statistics, “Bicycle theft is a national epidemic. Each year, more than 1 million bikes are stolen in the United States. In 2010, the most recent year for which the FBI has figures, stolen bikes accounted for 3.3 percent of U.S. larceny-theft cases. Those numbers only begin to tell the story — most bike thefts go unreported,” Rosen writes.
A cyclist rides along the American River bike trail near the intersection with NorthGate Blvd. Thursday evening. Park rangers and police have increased patrols and ticketing in the area according to a column in Friday’s Sacramento Bee.
Tony Bizjak’s Back-seat Driver column in the Friday morning Sacramento Bee takes on trail etiquette on the American River Parkway and then segues into some of the changes taking place along the trail.
“Summer is high season for parkway use. One of the sad bike trail realities is, the more crowded it gets, the angrier some get, and the worse some behavior becomes,” Bizjak wrote.
A story in the Los Angeles Times by Maria L. La Ganga on Saturday looks at the ongoing conversation in San Francisco over bikes vs. cars vs. pedestrians. La Ganga uses the recent death of a pedestrian hit by a cyclist to take a look at San Francisco’s efforts to reduce automobile traffic.
“In the ongoing smart-growth discussion, San Francisco offers a cautionary tale for cities where officials are mulling antidotes to sprawl and working toward less dependence on the private auto,” La Ganga wrote. Read the article here.
A cyclist checks out her smartphone while riding on the American River Bike trail near Sac State. A recent news article laments the lack of smartphone apps for cyclists.
Check out the lastest article by Blair Anthony Robertson in on sacbee.com about the new bike docks being sold by local business.
“They’re low-key and will never be mistaken for public art, but Sacramento-based Park a Bike’s Varsity model racks are considered one of the best of their kind,” Robertson writes.
Speaking of biking stuff, this recent article in the New York Times by Joshua Brustein laments the lack of smartphone apps available to cyclists.
“…I went looking for the biking equivalent of clever subway apps like Exit Strategy or EmbarkNYC, and was surprised at how little inventive thinking I found. For iPhone users, at least, there is not even a great way to get directions on a phone,” Brustein writes.
And with all the talk these days about the three-foot passing bill, there’s an interesting article on the Cycling Savvy website about why it is better to ride in the middle of the lane than on the side.
“Driving in the middle of the lane actually protects cyclists against the most common motorist-caused crashes: sideswipes, right hooks, left crosses, and drive-outs,” the article states.
There seem to be a lot more bike racks going up around Sacramento. The city has been adding their standard bike racks along the downtown streets, but there are also some very inventive racks appearing, especially on the R Street corridor. Here are images of a few of the more interesting racks. Please leave a comment or use the contact form to send me a message about your favorite bike rack and I will try to add it to the gallery. All the images were taken with the Hipstamatic app on the iPhone to give them a different look.
Above: A bicyclist is silhouetted by the sun in a partial eclipse by the moon as she rides across the bridge at the William Pond Recreation Area in Sacramento on Sunday evening. Left: The sun in a 92 percent eclipse by the moon.
Cyclists in Sacramento were treated to a rare annular eclipse Sunday evening as the moon passed in front of the sun, leaving only a golden ring around its edges. Viewers in Sacramento saw only a partial eclipse (92 percent) but areas to the north near Redding were able to see a total annular eclipse. Go to this story in The Sacramento Bee to read more about the event.
A photograph of CSUS student Arlene Sasse remains attached to a light pole at the entrance to the university in Sacramento. Sasse was killed on her bicycle in the early morning hours of April 1, 2011 in a collision with a car as she crossed J Street at the entrance to the campus.
From the Hammerin’ Wheels Bike Club website: Wednesday evening at 6:45 p.m., cyclists will gather at Fremont Park at the corner of 16th and P Streets for “The Ride of Silence”. This is in conjunction with an event held throughout the United States and North America to honor cyclists who have been injured or killed, raise awareness toward cyclists and ask that everyone share the road.
The local ride will take cyclists to the intersection of J and H Streets at Carlson Drive, where previously two “Ghost Bikes” were located at the sites of fatal automobile / bicycle collisions. The most recent accident involved California State University, Sacramento student Arlene Sasse, 22, who was hit by a car while crossing J Street in the early hours April 1, 2011. Although the “Ghost Bike” is gone, a photograph of Sasse sitting in a chair playing the guitar is still attached to the light pole at the intersection.
For more information about the ride, go to this link at the Hammerin’ Wheels website.
By the way, the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates will be holding a special “members preview” of the new SABA Carlson Corridor Bicycle Friendly Design at a meeting at the Presbyterian church at the intersection on Thursday evening, May 17. For more information about the meeting go to the SABA website or contact email@example.com.
Posted from Sacramento, California, United States.
Nathan Carnahan of RackNRoad and Park-a-Bike of Sacramento lifts a bike off one of the racks in the Bike Valet area at the May is Bike Month Capitol BikeFest on the west steps of the Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday, May 10, 2012. The annual event included local bike shops, bike clubs, and other booths with information on bicycling, walking, transit and more. Click here to see a gallery of images from May is Bike Month in Sacramento.
Posted from Sacramento, California, United States.
A warning painted on the bike trail alerts trail users to watch for snakes.
I noticed about a week ago someone has been painting alerts to watch for snakes on the American River bike trail. The paintings appeared and then most of them were painted over or removed (I assume by Parks Dept. employees).
Springtime is when snakes begin appearing on the trail. Consider this entry by Robin Donnelly in her book, Biking and Hiking the American River Parkway.
“As you travel the Parkway in springtime, you might see a snake sunning in the path. After its winter hibernation, it is absorbing heat from the warm surface in order to hunt longer at night. Snakes “hear” through vibrations picked up from their underbelly in contact with the ground, as a result, it is likely they will know you are there and move out of the path.”
Posted from Rancho Cordova, California, United States.
A group of cyclists, some of whom are part of the SACOG after work workout ride group make their way along the American River bike trail last month.
Plenty of cycling news in The Bee over the weekend. On Friday, reporter Tony Bizjak focused his entire “Back Seat Driver” column on May is Bike Month in Sacramento. On Sunday, in the Forum section of the paper, former executive director of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, Walt Seifert, authored a column listing his top 10 steps to making Sacramento a cycling Shangri-La.
“So why don’t we lead the nation in the share of trips made by bike? Why do cities like frigid Minneapolis and puddle-prone Portland outbike Sacramento?” Siefert asks.
Also on Sunday in the Travel section of the paper, Bee contributing writer, James Raia, penned a walk-up to the Amgen Tour of California headlined, “Plenty to eat, drink and do along Tour of California route.”
Posted from Sacramento, California, United States.
In the photo above, Sacramento Wheelmen bike club members Bob Backer, left, and George Koch, right, listen to T.J. Windmiller, a mechanic at Mad Cat Bikes, (on stage above and in the photo at the left) explain how to change a flat tire at the the May is Bike Month kick off event at Fremont Park in Sacramento on Tuesday.
Several hundred people came out to Fremont Park for the official launch of Bike Month. There were free bike safety checks, raffles and presentations on subjects like how to properly lock a bike and how to change a flat tire. As of 2 p.m., 5,371 bicyclists had pledged 1,049,187 miles, according to a news release from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. This is the eighth year volunteers, public agencies, businesses, and bicycling enthusiasts have partnered to promote bicycling as part of May is Bike Month, according to SACOG. All trips by bicycle count, whether a ride to work, school, shopping, or for recreation in the region which includes El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.
Posted from Sacramento, California, United States.
Update: 8 a.m. 4/30 — It appears the driver was arrested on Friday by police. He was booked on other charges and the police are still investigating. See the report on KTVU.
Update: 4:30 p.m. 4/29 — KGO-TV out of San Francisco has this report on their website.
Update: 6 p.m. 4/27 — SFist reports the hit and run vehicle has been found and is apparently a stolen car.
This is scary video of a car sideswiping two cyclists in Berkeley. The crash happens at 2:40 in the video. The motorist took off after hitting them. They seem to be okay – standing and moving around after the incident. The video is posted to YouTube by brunogfmtube
Update 2:30 p.m. 4/27 – From the YouTube site where the video was posted:
Bruno posted this, “Thank[sic] guys for your support! Yesterday I went to the police department and I reported the crime. I also gave the video to the police officer. It was possible to identify the number of the car on the video. The police have located the car and the owner. Now I’m waiting for the return of the police on the case.”
The rain has passed and the weekend weather forecast from the National Weather Service predicts sunny skies and temperatures over 80 degrees for both weekend days. It looks like a good weekend for riding. If you are looking for tips on what to do in the event of a bike accident, check out this blog post by Sacramento injury lawyer and cyclist, Jessica Grigsby. You can find more information on her blog. If, however, you are looking for a laugh, check out this post of biking tips from The Onion. Stick your tongue firmly in your cheek before reading.
Posted from Sacramento, California, United States.